Sunday, 8 January 2012

when does rewriting become editing become proof reading...

Yesterday I shared the following blog post with a few of my friends and it started me thinking. When does rewriting become editing then become proof reading? The blog post is talking about filling in the gaps when rewriting, however, the more I thought about it the more I realised that is what I do when I am editing not rewriting. When I edit I look for the holes they are talking about, the 'show not tells', the bland characters and flat passages. As I have told you before I 'write cold, edit hot' (see August 14 2011 post). I get the bare bones of the story down and then go back and 'embroider it with colour.' Rewriting, for me, however, is something I am doing at the moment, as you know, it is where you change whole chunks of the story. It can be adding chapters in, taking them out, even changing the point of view (which is what I am doing). Rewriting is far more drastic than is suggested by that blog post.

As far as I am concerned rewriting is the major changes, editing is the looking for holes and adding colour, which brings the piece to life and finally, this is then followed by proof reading. Talking of which I have just marked 60+ creative pieces over the Christmas break and I would be a very rich woman if I had a pound for every time I wrote 'proof read carefully' on assignments. I know it is boring and it can be tough. I am also aware that you may have seen your work so often you don't see the mistakes. I have a couple of suggestions to counter this. Firstly, I put it away for a couple of weeks ideally (this is a good thing to do between the rewriting and editing process too) and then I read the work out loud. If it is difficult to read it is because there is a problem with the sentence. You also tend to spot spelling mistakes and inconsistencies if you do this. You can, of course, get someone else to read it out loud to you.

But perhaps I am the only person who sees the process like this. Maybe you have your own variations. What we all do know is that writing cannot be hurried. There are hurdles to be jumped and as I said in the last post: writing is rewriting....then editing....then proof reading....*sigh*

Michael Kiwanuka's Tell Me a Tale seems appropriate...


  1. I sort of skim read the other post, but from what you have written here, I'm definitely more in line with you.

  2. It is good to know I am not alone Michele! Thank you